Bengaluru

Proposal to increase BBMP limits dropped

The inclusion of new areas in the 1 km radius of BBMP limits was first proposed by a Joint Select Committee of the State Legislature.

The proposal to include urbanised pockets in the 1-km radius of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) under the civic body seems to have been dropped.

Gaurav Gupta, who heads the delimitation committee, said that the work on the draft report was almost complete and it would be submitted to the Government shortly. “Areas notified as BBMP (i.e. 800 sq. km comprising 198 wards) have been considered for delimitation and creation of 243 wards,” he said.

Sources privy to the development claimed that this was because the Government had not given any direction to the committee with regard to inclusion of new areas.

The inclusion of new areas in the 1-km radius of the BBMP limits and increasing the number of wards to 250 was first proposed by the Joint Select Committee of the State Legislature, headed by BJP MLA S. Raghu. The BBMP Act, 2020, too allows up to 250 wards.

Yeshwantpur, Dasarahalli, Bengaluru South, Yelahanka, and Mahadevapura Assembly segments have many gram panchayats. The areas coming under the gram panchayats here have been completely urbanised. This was the rationale behind the proposal to bring these areas under the BBMP limits.

Satish Reddy, BJP MLA who was a member of the legislature committee, said there was already a lot of disparity in size of ward and average population among the wards in core city and those in outer zones. If the average ward population is limited to around 35,000 to 40,000, the number of wards within the existing limits will be around 243.

“If the new areas are to be included, the number of wards will further increase by at least 30,” he pointed out and added that this inclusion would take the strength of the BBMP council to around 300 councillors, including nominated councillors.

“This will become unwieldy and unmanageable. Moreover, the areas that were added to the BBMP limits in 2007 are still lacking basic infrastructure, such as water and sanitation. Hence, it was decided to not include any new area, but instead rationalise the existing large wards in outer zones and take administration closer to the people,” he said.

Sources claimed that members of some gram panchayats that were proposed to be included in the BBMP limits had sought a stay. “These members have just assumed power after winning the panchayat elections held recently. Inclusion of these areas will jeopardise their position,” sources pointed out.

Krishna Byre Gowda, Congress MLA and member of the legislature committee, said it was no surprise that the State Government that proposed inclusion of new areas with the sole purpose of deferring the polls to the BBMP council had now dropped the plan. He also said that if new areas were included in the BBMP limits, the gram panchayat members from here would become members of the BBMP council without facing any election.

“Moreover, members from the Opposition parties have won more seats than the ruling BJP in the gram panchayat elections. This is another reason for the Government to give up on the inclusion plans,” he alleged.

Delimitation being done by BJP-RSS: Congress

The Opposition Congress has alleged political interference by the ruling BJP in the delimitation exercise.

The former Minister Ramalinga Reddy led a protest over the issue at the BBMP headquarters on Saturday and alleged the delimitation exercise was being carried out in the offices of BJP legislators and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders.

“The delimitation committee is headed by the BBMP Chief Commissioner and has four senior IAS officers. But the BJP and the RSS have hijacked the exercise and are not allowing officials to exercise their power. The BJP is resorting to delimitation in such a way that it is beneficial to them. This is unethical and illegal,” he said, threatening a bigger protest and even a legal challenge if the process is not rectified immediately.


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Printable version | Apr 25, 2022 12:30:39 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/proposal-to-increase-bbmp-limits-dropped/article38365875.ece